About the only thing going for this course of action, is peace of mind.
The fact is a healthy, well-looked after animal is no more likely to become a victim of untoward health urgencies due to physical break-down of body function, or becoming involved in an unfortunate accident, than is a well cared-for child. Unless you've selected a particular breed given to congenital health problems, and unless you neglect safety issues with respect to pet ownership and normal areas of responsibilities.
Sentimentality, and the investment of much emotional baggage in a pet is a certain incentive to exploring any and all avenues to ensure the well-being of a beloved companion. And so it was that we took out health insurance for our little miniature poodle when she was several years old. She is now fourteen, still youthful and healthy. When we took possession of another companion dog, he too was given a health insurance policy.
And we felt assured that all would be well; if they required expensive surgery for any reason, we would be able to provide it for them through the kindly auspices of an insurance policy pay-back on expectations. We knew that our little poodles were a fairly safe breed. Some breeds, given to breed-specific ailments of a truly serious nature as impediments to attaining ripe old age without medical intervention, can procure insurance coverage, but at a premium.
And so it transpired that with their own natural genetic endowments and our care of their needs, we never once called upon the policy to make a claim for them for well over a decade of policy-holding. To begin with, regular veterinarian check-ups, or even emergency vet care is not covered, nor are the usual shots for distemper, rabies, parvovirus, or the yearly protocol for heartworm prevention. Dental care is also not covered.
We had opted for a middle-plan, a gold, not a platinum standard policy which would provide for many of these ordinary services, but at a premium monthly price. We realized over the years, that there was a steady 6% annual fee increase for these health policies. To the point where we were paying out $106 monthly in insurance fees for our little dogs. Costly, but we still thought it worthwhile for peace of mind.
Then six months ago we required surgery for out toy poodle who had suffered the misfortune of a fat tumour growing inconveniently under his left back leg. The tumour's growth was truly phenomenal despite which we kept hoping it would reverse itself and simply disappear as so often happens with fat tumours growing commonly just under the haircoat. Instead, this one grew to the size of a baseball, and it needed removal before it would impair the little fellow.
That's when we took a really close look at the policy, and realized that we wouldn't be getting that much financial support through the insurance, after all. We just managed to squeeze under a 6-year-of-age ceiling for deductible, by a mere month. As it was the policy exacted a $400 age-category deductible for our claim, along with the annual deductible. When the final accounting took place, we were reimbursed $800 for a $1400 claim; better than nothing.
But when we did the math, totting up what we had spent over the years for "peace of mind" we realized how inefficient the reality of the function of such an insurance policy is. And then a bit of outrage set in when, five months after our single claim for these two years-long insurance policies, we received notification from SecuriCan, the general insurance company that underwrites Petplan insurance, that they were reconsidering our policy.
Warning us that as of January first of the new year our plan would be "adjusted". Should we invoke the policy in the space of the coming year for another reimbursement for surgery or any covered medical condition, coverage would be effectively reduced to 60%, less any applicable deductibles. As a too-obvious form of disciplinary action for having had the unmitigated nerve to actually draw payback options on the policy.
The letter informing us of this nonsensical alteration of the payback quality of the insurance policy stated that the missive itself was the message; it was to be considered by us to be a policy amendment notification. And it concluded by thanking us for our "commitment" to pet health insurance. More than adequately leaving us to question the insurance company's commitment to their health insurance for pets.
This insurance must surely qualify as the worst possible return for one's money. What other insurance premiums grow at a steady annual rate of 6%? While at the same time abstemiously taking it upon themselves to narrow the payback to subscribers as a form of punishment, gently berating them for the demonstrated temerity of anticipating support when needed.
In the vernacular, Petplan stinks.